On Monday, April 7, 2008 at 11:45 PM EST WWE RAW
April 7, 2008
Commentators: Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler
Reported By: Hunter Golden of WrestleView.com
Raw General Manager William Regal was in the middle of the ring. He said the WWE Championship at Backlash would be between the next two men he’d introduce. He introduced WWE Champion Randy Orton. Regal introduced us to his opponent at Backlash, the “Most Deserving #1 Contender in WWE history”, John Bradshaw Layfield. JBL’s limo came out to the ramp and he got out and came down to the ring.
JBL got into the ring and extended his hand for a handshake and Orton refused him. The two faced off against each other before Triple H’s music hit and he came out to the ramp and eventually came down to the ring.
The Game said he was a little confused and asked Regal if he was out of his mind. He said he knew he was busy last week with Flair’s retirement and whatnot, but he must have missed something because while Randy Orton said he was finished with him, he wasn’t finished with Randy Orton.
Triple H said he took advantage of a situation to get a cheap win. He turned to JBL and asked why a guy who spent the last few years as a commentator on Smackdown and biggest claim to fame in the past few years other than that was tossing a midget could possibly be #1 contender.
William Regal interjected and said if Triple H wanted in so bad, he’d have to win a handi capped match against JBL and Orton. If he won, he was in. If not, he was out.
Umaga v. Val Venis
This doesn’t last too long as you can probably imagine. Umaga missed a big Irish whip follow up, but recovered quickly and tossed Venis into the ring post. He tossed Val to the mat and after laying in a kick, he slapped on the vice grip.
Val rose to his feet but ate a double chop to the neck before Umaga went back to the neck vice. Val tried to fight out of the hold again and only ate a big lariat in t he face. Umaga lined Val up in the corner and laid in some nasty right hands before backing off and mauled him with the good old running a$$ to the face. A Yu-Man-Ga chant erupted from the crowd. I love Albany. Umaga hit the spike shortly thereafter and that’s it.
Winner via pin fall: Umaga
Apparently, Batista’s showing up on the Highlight Reel with Chris Jericho and Shawn Michaels later tonight.
Ashley & Mickie James v. Jillian Hall & Melina
Holy crap Ashley’s horrible. Little exchange with Jillian before finally Melina comes in and face plants her. Melina missed a follow up in the corner before Mickie comes in and finally we’ve got something to work with. Melina hit’s the double knees to the gut but Mickie catches her on a splash attempt.
Mickie plants her with a neck breaker before Jillian nails her partner by mistake with a head butt. Ashley cleared the ring before Mickie hit her implant DDT for the win.
Winners: Mickie James & Ashley via pin fall
Memories of uh, last week are next.
A big tribute video to Ric Flair aired.
Cade & Murdoch v. London & Kendrick
So the shorties jumped the big mangs and quickly got man handled and chucked around the ring and what not. Cade hit a big body slam but missed the elbow drop. London hit a drop sault hitting Murdoch with the kick and Cade with the press. Murdoch whapped London down to the mat before turning him inside out with a lariat.
Murdoch was atomic dropped onto London for a two count and started hitting martial arts kicks or whatever before hitting a half nelson suplex for a two count. That was awful. Murdoch hit a chop before Cade tagged in and slammed his head into the turnbuckles.
Cade came off the ropes only to eat an elbow in the jaw. Murdoch came charging in and missed a splash in the corner. London tagged in Kendrick who hit 15 wheel kicks or so before getting spine bustered and then uh, spine bustered again. Then Kendrick caught Murdoch with a roll up for the win? What the hell is going on?
Winners: London & Kendrick via pin fall
Now Cade and Murdoch are arguing.
JBL came up to Randy Orton. JBL went to give the speech but Orton told him to stay out of the way or something.
Triple H v. Randy Orton & JBL
Orton and Triple H locked horns. Triple H blocked Orton’s right and turned things into the corner and laid in some punches on Orton’s face before hitting a lariat to flat back the champion. Orton fought back with some European uppercuts but the Game fought back and punked out both Orton & JBL with rights.
JBL tagged in and JBL backed Triple H up into the corner and then backed off in fear. JBL ate a side headlock and then got out wrestled by Triple H and tossed to the mat. Orton tagged in and began hammering away at Triple H on the mat. He distracted the referee while JBL lay the boots to the Game in the corner.
Orton hit a nice standing drop kick before going for a cover attempt that got a two count. Orton went to work on Triple H with the good old Garvin stomp, making sure he got every appendage on his little trip around the world. Orton dropped a sick knee drop on the face of Triple H and it was good enough for a two count.
JBL tagged in and hit a series of punches on Triple H before connecting with a swinging neck breaker and some elbow drops for a two count. Orton tagged back while the crowd tried to rally Triple H. Orton kept on hammering away on Triple H before the Game fought back with some right hands. He backed the champion up before getting hammered with a running power slam from Orton.
JBL tagged in and laid in some boots on Triple H before the Game again fought back. JBL smartly grabbed a sleeper hold and Triple H flailed and faded in the middle of the ring.
Triple H fought out of the hold and eventually hit his face buster and bought himself some time. He backed the former champion into the corner but ate a big boot to the face. JBL went for the clothesline from hell but Orton blind tagged him. Triple H tossed JBL into Orton and caught Orton rebounding and hit a pedigree for the win.
Winner: Triple H via pin fall
Regal announced that the Backlash main event would be a triple threat. John Cena’s music hit and he came out to the ring. He put over the fact that everyone was always trying to one up each other with ’who beat whos’. He proposed he had as much a right to be in the match as anyone /* and proposed a fatal four way. Regal said he liked the idea, but he’d have to wrestle his way in and beat Triple H & JBL in a handicapped match.
Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes v. Carlito & Santino Marella
The two circled it up and Cody took Carlito down only to have Carlito counter into a hammer lock. Cody unwrapped the arm and yanked it out a bit before tagging in Holly who quickly back dropped Carlito.
Carlito fought back with some punches and tagged in Santino. Holly went for an Alabama slam and Carlito hit a DDT and Jesus this is almost as bad as the last tag match. Santino hit a shoulder thrust before gathering Holly and placing him in the friendly corner.
Carlito tagged in and hit some punches before letting Santino choke him out on the ring apron. Santino tagged in and posed for us all before hitting an axe handle for a one count. Carlito hit a vertical suplex when he tagged in for a one count before slapping on a rest hold.
Carlito hit a leg drop for a one and a half count and that’s it. He hit some lazy punches in on Holly before Holly reversed him and got kicked in the elbow or something. Holly hit a rock bottom and both are laid out but I think the crowd’s dead.
Cody gets the hot tag and no one’s even really that hot for it. Cody hits not a bunch of punches…. But a drop toe hold. Yes. A drop toe hold. Now he and Santino are on the top rope and Cody has to bump onto his head to get anyone to care. Marella hit’s a diving head butt for the three count.
Winners: Carlito & Santino Marella via pin fall
Cryme Tyme is selling Wrestlemania stuff at discount prices. There’s a soul shaker stolen off of Rocky Johnson. Works great for white people at weddings. Also, there’s an autographed picture of Maria. If we act now, we get Kim Kardashian’s underwear. That wasn’t Kim Kardashian’s dressing room JTG remembers…. It was Mae Young’s. Money, Money, yeah, yeah. King wonders if tear gas has ever been fired into their house.
A video aired putting over the Big Show-Great Khali confrontations the past few weeks.
JBL approached Triple H back stage. JBL’s giving him advice but Triple H has head phones on. JBL wants to know why no one listens to him. Triple H says it’s because he’s an a$$.
Beth Phoenix v. Maria
Beth backed Maria up but Maria came firing back with a hard slap. She went for her hand stand thingy, but Phoenix tossed her aside and body slammed her. Phoenix laid the boots to Maria in the corner before drop kicking her into the ring post.
Phoenix chased Maria to the outside and tossed her back into the ring before wrapping her up in some sort of funny back twisty thing. Maria grabbed an inside cradle before fighting back with a back kick and then a knee to the gut or four.
Maria hit a head scissors take over and went for a cross body but Beth rolled through and went for a fall away slam but Maria countered out with a face buster. Beth dropped Maria on the top rope before loading up the fisherman’s suplex and nailing it for the win.
Winner: Beth Phoenix via pin fall
The Highlight Reel
Jericho came out and introduced both Batista and HBK.
Jericho said he knew this was an emotional time for everyone. He reviewed the poll results and HBK apparently did the ‘right’ thing retiring Ric Flair says the fans. HBK said people shouldn’t make him out to be the bad guy. He said Flair asked him to have the match.
Jericho said he knew he brought the “A Game” at Mania and showed his table bump in the Flair match over and over again. He said it was obvious Michaels wanted to end Flair’s career as he put his body through everything to accomplish it. HBK said he was truly sorry.
Batista interjected and said HBK’s ego forced him to try and get a new notch on his belt. Jericho told Batista he was full of it, too. But then HBK cut everyone off and asked Batista where his friendship was when he had plenty of opportunity to talk Flair out of stepping into the ring with him. He said he idolized him since he was 16, so Batista’s five years of friendship didn’t mean crap. He said there was a reason Flair didn’t ask Batista to have his last match with him. He said there was only one guy with enough character to do what was done and it was him.
He told Batista to look at his hands. He said there’s so much blood on these hands. Some of it he’s proud of, some of it he isn’t. He said despite what he though, Wrestlemania was the hardest night of his career.
Batista paused and said the blood on his hands was the reason he trusted Michaels and wouldn’t ever trust him again. Michaels blew his top and said if Batista wanted a piece of him he’d better throw down right now. Batista smiled and said ‘he already had’ (taken a piece) and walked off.
Randy Orton is in William Regal’s office. Regal’s overjoyed to have made the match between Shawn Michaels and Batista happen. He says Regal’s over stepped his bounds as GM. Regal said Orton needs to learn respect. He said he’d have a match next week in London. Against him.
John Cena v. JBL & Triple H
Orton ended up walking down to the ring side area and is watching the match.
JBL beat Cena down in the corner before going for a quick cover attempt. He wentto tag Triple H in and there’s some tension. JBL hit a huge clubbing blow on Cena before hitting a DDT for a two count.
JBL hit a big boot to Cena’s skull. JBL refuses to tag in Triple H again and is still laying them in on Cena. Cena fights back with some punches before JBL avoids him and Cena crashes into the corner. Orton’s coaching JBL and he’s refusing to tag Triple H and hit’s a running shoulder block for a two count, but Cena kicks out.
Cena blocked a right from JBL and hit some rights of his own before JBL tossed him to the ringside area. Cena got run into the ring post before JBL hit a clothesline and left Cena in a heap on the outside of the ring. JBL gathered him and rolled him into the ring for a near fall, but Cena kicked out.
JBL slapped on a vice grip in the middle of the ring and Cena writhed in pain. Cena fought out of the hold eventually and finally grabbed the advantage with a clothesline. Cena hit his signature stuff until JBL tried to tag Triple H, but alas, no help. Cena signaled for the five knuckle shuffle and connected while Orton was beside himself on the outside.
JBL went for the tag again, and Triple H again shrugged him off. Cena went for an FU but JBL fought out and hit a big boot to cut Cena off. JBL’s none to happy with Triple H and goes over to him and attempts a slap, but Triple H fights him back. Orton interjected himself in the fight and JBL accidentally nailed Orton. Orton’s temper got the better of him and he followed JBL into the ring and plastered him with an RKO.
Cena capitalized just like Orton did at Mania and rushed Orton out of the ring before grabbing the cover on JBL for the win.
Winner: John Cena via pin fallRAW THOUGHTSShow Thoughts-- Tonight’s Raw, at least from an in ring perspective, was atrociously bad. Not that you’d expect them to be tossing much matched up against the NCAA title game, but wow, I was surprised at how bad the wrestling was.
Ashley really shouldn’t be on camera in a wrestling role right now, at least not on Raw. Not only does she get little reaction, but she’s far and away the worst female wrestler on the roster. She looked completely lost in the ring tonight and while I think everyone appreciates her desire to want to wrestle, the ability ain’t there. No set spots, nothing. She really needs some time in developmental before they bother putting her out there again.
The London/Kendrick-Cade/Murdoch was just atrocious. The whole TPI-style with over-set up spots, no selling, ripping out the same move multiple times. It was a totally horrible match. In fact, it’s probably the worst non-Ashley match I’ve seen this year.
But no! It didn’t maintain that honor for long, as it was completely out done by the Cody Rhodes/Hardcore Holly-Santino/Carlito TRAINWRECK. Carlito clearly is clueless in working in tags as he kills heat faster than a bucket of cold water, but Cody’s even better at it these days. He gets a hot tag, which by the way hasn’t been built to at all, and doesn’t punch some one. Doesn’t drop kick them. Doesn’t slam them or even run into them. No, kids. He hit’s a drop toe hold.
Carlito’s laziness, Holly obviously not caring that he’s in the match, Cody just being clueless, and Santino’s over-stooging just made this the most spectacularly awesome crap-fest I’ve seen on WWE TV this year.
The Backlash build, aside from the sensational HBK-Batista interaction, was pretty ‘meh’ as well.
Maybe it’s just me, but I’m just burnt out on multi-man matches, especially with Orton. Give the guy some more one on one matches. Maybe they’re using this to get some more storylines going, but good lord, it’s overkill. Triple H and Cena both getting in using handicapped matches which are utterly used to death on WWE programming… is too much.
On top of it, Triple H has GOT to stop the funny guy smart-jokes. I think by this time, I’ve established that I’m not one of those ‘OMGZ he buried them with the promoz!’ guys, but this was as close to that as you can get, at least to the degree that he completely eliminated the reason for me caring about the match. JBL only tosses midgets? Orton’s WM win was just cheap? Why don’t you have the belt then? The punt wasn’t smart? I mean jesus.
I’m JUST not into multi-man matches anymore. We had one at last year’s Backlash, one at Vengeance, one at the Great American Bash, one at Unforgiven, one at Armageddon, another one at Wrestlemania. That’s seven in the span of a year. Holy smokes, let’s put it away for a little while.
The one really bright spot tonight though, was the HBK-Batista stuff, which just feels super fresh for both guys. They’ll both be tweeners a bit here and we can get a nice feel as to who to turn as at this point, I think they could both use it. Jericho playing instigator was pretty great as well tonight.
But all in all, the worst episode of Raw in quite some time. You’ve got to be pretty bad to kill an Albany crowd.
Overall Grade: D
Umaga def. Val Venis
Mickie James & Ashley def. Melina & Jillian Hall
London & Kendrick def. Cade & Murdoch
Triple H def. Randy Orton & JBL
Carlito & Santino Marella def. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes
Beth Phoenix def. Maria
John Cena def. JBL & Triple H
Who’s Hot, Who’s Not?
1. Triple H
2. Shawn Michaels
4. Chris Jericho
1. Randy Orton
3. William Regal
Match of the Night: Cena v. JBL & Triple H *
Power Rankings5 Points= Title Win
4 Points= World Title defense/win
3 Points= Singles PPV Win
2 Points= Tag PPV Win
2 Points= TV Singles Win
1 Point= TV Tag Win
0 Points= Loss
WWE Champion: Randy Orton 6-6, 13pts. (Last Week: WWE Champion) -- The guy beats Michaels, Triple H, Jeff Hardy and then Cena AND Triple H at Wrestlemania and they’re unwilling to give him a one on one main event at Backlash. Yikes.
Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho 6-7, 14pts. (Last Week: IC Champion)-- Jericho’s really beginning to win me over again. He’s been great in his segment work and a lot of fun in his matches and he’s basically an enjoyable segment every week. Maybe because this week’s show sucked so bad, I notice it a bit more.
1. Shawn Michaels 10-2, 16pts. (Last Week: 1) -- After a promo like that, it’s really difficult to knock him down a few notches. HBK stays #1 this week.
2. Triple H 8-4, 13pts.(Last Week: 2) -- The funny joke-joke Triple H is really getting old because now it’s starting to get all smark-ish, which is really annoying. When he sticks to the basics, he’s a fun baby face, but good lord it’s been super insider joke mANIA~ lately.
3. John Cena 8-3, 11 points. (Last Week: 3) -- The saddest thing about this four way is that Cena’s really coming off, at least to me, as an obvious afterthought. I have zero reason to think he’s got a shot at winning the belt. They have to figure out what they want from Cena and Triple H here as the multiple title shots are going to get old pretty fast.
4. JBL 4-7, 9 points (Last Week: 4)-- JBL’s a stooge-ish heel but does he need to be THIS stoogie?
5. Umaga 5-6, 10 points (Last Week: 6) -- Umaga squash=Hunter squeals.
6. Ken Kennedy 5-5, 11pts. (Last Week: 7)-- Not in action this week.
7. Carlito 6-4, 9 pts. (Last Week: 9) -- A win’s a win even though it was a pretty bad one.
8. Santino Marella 3-2, 3 points (Last Week: 10) -- See Carlito.
9. Jeff Hardy 5-5, 9pts. (Last Week: 8)-- Suspended
10. Paul London 2-2, 2 points(Last Week: NR)-- He’s got some wins, which pretty much is a lot more than anyone /* can say at this point.
Cody Rhodes 2-3, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Paul Burchill 2-0, 4 points (Last Week: NR)
Jerry Lawler 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Lance Cade 0-4, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Hardcore Holly 3-3, 3pts. (Last Week: NR)
Brian Kendrick, 2-5, 2 points (Last Week: NR)
Trevor Murdoch 0-5, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Super Crazy 0-3, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
William Regal 0-2 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Harry Smith 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Jim Duggan 0-0, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Rory 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Charlie Haas 0-1, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Robbie 0-2, 0 points (Last Week: NR)
Mick Foley 1-0, 1 point (Last Week: NR)
Sgt. Slaughter 0-0. 0 pts. (Last Week: NR)
Val Venis 0-1 0pts. (Last Week: NR)
Snitsky 1-4, 2 points (Last Week: NR)